Movie Review: Star Trek

I went into Star Trek with trepidation–who were these guys who thought they could waltz in and play these iconic characters that I loved? I also went in with a great deal of excitement–the thought of never seeing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in action again seemed just as unacceptable, and the previews were intriguing. In the end, the fan-boy side of me won, so I went opening night.

I was right on both counts. I think anyone who isn’t a major Trekkie will likely love this movie. Big-time fans, though, are going to have some problems with it, and how much they like it will in large part depend on their tolerance for the things that just aren’t quite right.

Discussing this will involve some spoilers, so let’s throw a fold in here…

Right–Spock. Zachary Quinto is a dead-ringer for Leonard Nimoy. He doesn’t have the mannerisms quite right and his voice sounds a lot different, but I don’t know who out there would have been a better pick.

Wrong–Uhura. Zoe Saldana looks great in a mini-skirt, but she doesn’t look or act anything like Uhura.

Right–McCoy. Karl Urban just nails DeForest Kelly’s speech and mannerisms.

Wrong–Sulu. Is John Cho the only Asian actor in Hollywood? Like with Uhura, he’s not even close.

Right–Sarek. For a second I thought Ben Cross was Mark Lenard returned from the dead.

Right–Scotty. Simon Pegg plays a younger, wilder Scotty, but you can see James Doohan emerging down the road.

In the Middle–Kirk and Checkhov. Checkhov isn’t well developed, and his hair is completely wrong, but we’ll see. Young Kirk does not have the gravitas he will need to develop in the sequels, but he’s fine for this early time period.

Right–Loads of references to the originals. One bit with Sulu had me laughing loudly in the theater.

In the Middle, Leaning Against–Wiping the slate clean. A plot device involving time travel essentially means that nothing in the original series, the Next Generation, or the earlier movies ever happened! My feelings are very mixed on this. I understand the filmmakers not wanting to be tied too strictly to existing mythology. But isn’t this a bit much? Has Star Trek turned into Dallas?

If you’ve got thoughts on any or all of this, please share them in the comments.

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5 Responses to Movie Review: Star Trek

  1. Veedub says:

    I enjoyed the movie, despite its lack of similarity to the older characters. I agree that Spock and Kirk were good to a point. I thought Bones was a little over the top with the impersonation bit, but Bones has always been a little extravagant, especially in his loathing for Spock. Scotty was also a little too wild. Spock and Kirk are dual centers to the story, and I enjoyed the ride. It was fun to see Spock get the girl for a change.

    • The romance was one thing I didn’t like, although I forgot to mention it in my comments. (This was written in a hurry, as you could probably tell.) It does make me curious which direction they’re going to go with Spock–due to events, is he going to be more human and less Vulcan in this incarnation?

      At some point, I may write a more in-depth review. I’d need to see the movie again before I could do that properly–there was just too much there for a life-long Trekkie to properly absorb in one sitting.

      I’m probably too much the purist for my own good with this stuff, but I imagine I’ll be able to get over it.

  2. Alex LaPointe says:

    It was a delight. Set phasers to stunning! The only thing I’m concerned about is now that Spock is getting girlie action, will he still go through the “Pon Far” and battle Kirk to death? Even if he did, there would be no Vulcan to battle to the death on! I’m so confused! Damn you J.J. Abrams and your alternate Universe deus ex machina!! Seriously though, it was a great movie, not that it had much to measure up to as far as Star Trek movies go. I hope they are working on a sequel with the same cast.

  3. Alex LaPointe says:

    Oh, You HAVE to check this out!!

  4. Iowa Girl says:

    While I am one of many fans longing to see Kirk and the crew together again, I am one of the very few fans who have actually been to Riverside, Iowa, the future birthplace of James T. Kirk. It is green, surrounded by corn and soybean fields, and NOTHING like depicted in Star Trek 2009. The movie made it look like Barstow, CA, not Riverside, IA. Kirk did not look right or act right. Spock looked perfect but his voice was like a teenage girl’s. Couldn’t they enhance it somehow to sound more like the resonant bass of real Spock? Remember Uhura’s beautiful long nails, the way she held the receiver in her ear while she listened seriously to transmissions? New Uhura looks like Beyonce. I was expecting her to bust out Put a Ring On It any minute! Chekov looks like a Flock of Seagulls reject. The plot is stupid and makes no sense. It is noisy and dumb. Original Captain Pike was a speechless husk living in a washing machine cabinet. Now he is a charming father figure looking snappy in a sleek wheelchair. Original Kirk was a beautiful, beautiful man. New Kirk looks like a “before” photo in a Proactive commercial. COME ON PEOPLE. If you are going to make Spock and McCoy and Scotty young reflections of the real characters, why not do it for all of them? Live long and don’t bother. Look at some pictures of Iowa at least. It is not a dirt covered canyon land. Please.

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